Jun 24, 2018
I am back from walking the Camino now. I flew to Portugal on June 4, 2018 and Bill and I met up with 20 friends to walk 150 miles from Portugal to Santiago, Spain. It was AMAZING. It was the best trip of my life – completely and utterly life-changing. A part of me doesn’t know what to do now that I am back home in Maine. That’s the beauty of a trip like this – it disrupts you in ways you can not imagine – and the trick is not to pick up your usual routines when you return. So that’s where I am right now. Being present for WHAT’S NEXT.
I loved being outside all day long. I loved hiking through the mountains. I loved that I let go of my usual routine and went completely off-the-grid. I didn’t do The Lisa Show (didn’t even think about it). Didn’t do a Sunday message. Didn’t check emails. It’s been a long time since I’ve allowed this level of freedom and I loved it.
I loved the physical element of it. I loved being in the sun, the rain, the hot, the cold. I loved not waiting for perfect weather conditions to go outside. I love how every moment was a surprise. I loved walking through the forest, through the mountains and through villages. I loved being off the computer. I loved the food, the people, the connections.
Next on my bucket-list is the France to Spain Camino route: 500 miles.
I have posted some stories and photos on my Facebook page if you are interested and you can check them out on my page: https://www.facebook.com/lisanatoli1
If you are interested in going on a Camino in a group, check out my friend Jennifer Winn Johnson: http://winnjourneys.com/camino-de-santiago-spain
The next trips along the Portuguese route are: September 6-19, 2018 and June 13-25, 2019
Today, I want to share with you a teacher who is right up there in my top favorite spiritual teachers in the world. I’d say he’s in the top 5. Maybe even in the top 3. Jesus is my #1 all-time-favorite teacher but I love this guy. Diederik Wolsak. I met him at the ACIM Conference in New York City several years ago. It might have been 2013 or 2014. I can’t remember the year exactly, but I definitely remember Diederik. To me, it’s rare to find a teacher who is so direct and so uncompromising. This guy does NOT do fluff. He does not water stuff down. He does not let you go on and on with your story. He is there to help you, if you want it, and his approach might seem a little harsh or “unloving” at first glance, because it’s so uncompromising. Which is why I love him so much. He’s like Jesus, a voice in the wilderness, a light in the dark, speaking the truth and inviting you to leave your place where you see yourself as a victim, blaming others, living in shame, holding yourself in guilt, judging yourself.
Diederik has recently come out with a new book called “Choose Again: Six Steps to Freedom.”
I’m so grateful. I feel personally responsible for this (even though I had zero to do with this) because from the moment I saw Diederik teaching I have been saying to him: “Diederik. You have to put these 6 steps in a book. These steps are brilliant. You gotta write a book.”
And it seemed to me that it was never going to happen. I really just thought: he’s not interested.
So I was extremely happy to hear that he put it all in book form and that it’s now available to you.
Back then, when I met him in New York, all he had was a bookmark with the 6 steps printed on them. Nice. But come on. I’d seen him teach. Like I said, he’s brilliant. The Six Steps to Freedom is brilliant.
I’d seen and heard the whole process in 90-minutes and I knew that what was in that 90-minute talk could never been conveyed on a bookmark. So I am grateful that we now have the Six Step Process to Freedom in book form. Thank you Diederik.
This book ROCKS. I read it on the bus in Portugal on the way to our first day of walking the Camino.
Here are a few photos. Look how engrossed I am. haha. Bill took these photos. The whole world and the bus disappeared while I got sucked into Diederik’s words.
It was great for me to read this book before I started my walk because it gave me time to think about it on the way to Santiago.
What I was thinking about was how so many people who have done A Course in Miracles still suffer. They have done the workbook lessons – all 365 lessons – several times. They have read the Text. They had read the Teachers Manual. They’ve done online programs. They’ve watched videos. They’ve attended Course in Miracles groups and they still are in conflict. They still get angry. They still blame people. They still act like victims. They still judge.
I know ALL ABOUT THIS because this was me for 20 years. I have had A Course in Miracles since 1992 and dedicated myself ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TO THE MESSAGE OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES AND ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TO GOD and I still suffered. For over 20 years. While thinking: maybe if I just do the workbook lessons ONE MORE TIME I’ll get it.
But no matter how many times I did the workbook again, I still was frustrated, angry, irritated with myself and with other people. I still felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t consistently reach a place of happiness.
Why? Because I didn’t REALLY want peace. Not really. I said the words (I want the peace of God) but I still wanted to be a victim. I still wanted to suffer, to be sick and to project my guilt onto other people – instead of owning it and healing it. I didn’t really sincerely want take 100% responsibility for everything that seemed to be happening to me and in the world. Some things really seemed (to me) to be the exceptions. Some people really did seem to be trying to hurt me. Some people really were unkind, insensitive and they really needed to do A Course in Miracles. LOL. Some people really did need to explain themselves for their actions. Then I could be happy.
And obviously. We know this doesn’t work. And finally – by the grace of God – and by my sincere desire to want peace above all else, and to take ONE. HUNDRED. PERCENT. RESPONSIBILITY for everything that seemed to happen to me … my life and my attitude begin to change. This has only been in the past 5 years. After 20 years of “working hard” I finally surrendered, relaxed and said: No more blaming other people. No more projecting my guilt onto other people. And the miracle occurred.
And so I still see a lot of people in the same boat as me. Sincere ACIM students who just can’t seem to get out of the hell they made. Still angry. Still attacking. Still dragging the past into the present. Still holding onto grievances.
And what I was thinking about on the Camino, after reading Diederik’s book is that this book is for anyone who is still struggling after doing A Course in Miracles. I can’t imagine anyone reading this book and still blaming other people. I can’t imagine it.
Here is a guy who was born into a concentration camp in 1942, who saw atrocities as a young child and then carried those early images into his adult life as an experience of self-loathing, anger and hatred and who overcame all those emotions and attitudes …. by … his … own … choice … and … decision.
Diederik made a decision that he is NOT a victim. He was not going to life his life blaming his circumstances. He was no longer going to be a bully. He chose peace, and peace was given to him.
The Six-Step Process is a way to see the value of letting go of your own self-imposed blocks and obstacles. It’s a way for you to see your grievances, your guilt and judgment – and make a choice “to choose again.”
You learn to be responsible for your own happiness, rather than blaming others for your state of lack and unhappiness.
You learn that it is your own thoughts and attitudes that hurt you. Circumstances don’t hurt you. People don’t hurt you. Only your thoughts about those people and circumstances hurt you. You can choose to see everything as a gift. You can choose to see everything in a new way.
You discover that through forgiving yourself and others you find freedom.
You learn and understand that you have been given everything – because you are everything – to have a life of joy.
You have the FREEDOM to choose your thoughts, your attitudes and your state of mind.
I’ll be honest. When I first met Diederik. I was very afraid of him, being in that room with him. You feel there is no where to hide. When he looked at me with those knowing eyes of love and compassion, I felt like: Oh no. This is the end of me. All my hidden secrets are about to be exposed. You can’t play small-talk and niceties with Diederik. It just doesn’t fly. He’s there to help you emerge from your small limited self-identity, if you will allow it.
And now it’s all available to you in book form.
He’s not scary in the book – and I now know Diederik now in person – because when I find teachers I love who are still alive I find ways to get up close to them and learn from them (for example: Bryon Katie, Rupert Spira, Joe Dispenza) and he’s not scary in person either. But the first time I met him, I was scared. This is just me being honest. He’s so open, that you can just FEEL that something new and radical is about to occur.
So it’s very exciting to me that Diederik’s work is now in book form.
I love this book.
I love the part in this book (on page 87) a section called: “Do you need to tell your story?”
What do you think the answer is to that?
Often people think, yes. I need to be heard and understood. I need people to know what happened so they “get me.” Often you feel better when you tell your story, but no healing occurs because you never got to the cause of the problem. You were simply repeating the details of your victim story. What happened to you. How you are confused. What other people did to you. What does it mean.
No healing occurs because you’ve only just told the surface details of a story that’s only playing out your own past belief in separation.
This is what sets the Six-Step Process apart from other therapy-type work. It’s about relinquishing the story. In Diederik’s work you tell the story once so you can then do something about it. You don’t keep coming back to talk about it. This is Step 2 of the Six-Step Process.
Buy it in paperback here: Choose Again: Six Steps to Freedom in Paperback
Buy it here on Kindle: Choose Again: Steps to Freedom on Kindle
I find it really hard to believe someone could read this book and still be a victim.
Unless you are seriously hell-bent on staying in conflict. In which case, no one can help you.
But if you are ready to go beyond the place of suffering to a place of joy, I highly encourage this book to you.
Give yourself the gift of allowing these Six Steps to dismantle your fear-based self-identity. Let yourself be completely transformed.
Diederik, I love you. Thank you for the way you show up in life. Thank you for being so uncompromising. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to this Great Awakening.
If you feel like going even deeper, he has retreat centers in Vancouver and Costa Rica and he also leads retreats in the south of France.
Transform your life: https://www.choose-again.com
My friend Laurie Sagalyn also just finished reading “Choose Again” and wrote this review on Facebook:
“I just finished Diederik Wolsak’s book “Choose Again” and it’s a home run. So many aha moments for me.
Here are some of the many take aways from Diederik’s book:
1. My core belief will keep seeking evidence for it’s reality.
2. In the story there is no way out. In the story I get to be right.
3. We subconsciously choose our feelings based on who we think we are.
4. If we feel guilty we seek punishment and look for a life sentence of unhappiness until we accept forgiveness.
5. Depression is depriving myself of love. It can’t be cured by a pill. If I don’t let love in I won’t know who I am. We block love and are starving for
love and can’t see the purpose to be alive. We need to forgive ourselves for our mistaken beliefs for forgetting the Truth.
6 We are not the victim but the author of our experience!
7. The story has one purpose to hide the truth and allow us to continue to protect a core belief. You made up the story and then forgot you made it up.
8. The Spiritual Ego isn’t interested in doing the work because it would bring it’s demise. The spiritual ego uses spiritual cliches like “It’s just an illusion”. Intercept that. If your upset, it’s not an illusion to you at that time. It’s real to you and unless you do your work to own the upset and process it you won’t release it.
Diederik’s definition of Depression is very interesting…..depriving myself of love because I felt worthless, guilty and lived in depravation believing I deserved to be punished for not being the person I wanted to be. This book gave me the free get out of jail card LOL Wow what a game changer the way he describes the correction to my thinking.This book has been a gift.. It’s up leveled my awareness big time. This along with Irene Tomkinson’s I’ll Take God, Hold the Religion! are two books you need to read for healing the mind and finding peace.” -Laurie Sagalyn